A Wigan business owner says his plan for a new artisan market space is creating “a bit of a buzz” among residents.
Part of the Clarington Forge on Darlington Street East is being transformed into at least 20 stalls for independent traders to sell their wares.
Grant Adamson is spearheading plans for the vacant space, which was once used as offices for Bulldog Tools, the historic Wigan business that still occupies the rest of the site.
As well as moving his own business (Grant’s Furniture, Obscurities and Gifts) into the offices, he will also convert the rest of the space into an artisan market full of independent stalls.
He said the new market, which will be dubbed Bulldog Forge in a nod to its former occupants, has already created a stir on social media.
“We’ve been putting a lot of news on Facebook, and to be honest it’s causing a bit of a buzz,” he said.
“I was in Asda the other day and I had people saying ‘what’s happening?’ It’s gone mad really.
“Once it does happen, it’s going to be brilliant. It will be really good for the area.”
He added: “On my side, it’s a lot of pub furniture, antiques and retro stuff. On the other side, we’re looking at 20 independent artisans, collectors, stalls etc. It will be like a ‘bygone times’ sort of thing.
“It’s an ongoing job, we’re just setting up my side at the moment. The markets are probably about six weeks off being ready.
“Upstairs is going to be a vintage team room and more stalls.
“Two ladies are having one of the rooms to do holistic therapy and we’ve also got a couple of charities coming in.”
Daffodils Dreams, a community interest company which supporting Wigan children and families who find themselves living in poverty, is also expected to set up at the Bulldog Forge.
Grant’s own business will be moving from its current site a short distance away on Sovereign Road, and had been looking for a new site for some time.
He said: “We looked all around, we went as far as Southport, but nothing came up.
“But all of a sudden, someone told us about Bulldog. I went up to the site, and I took the two rooms straight away because they were great for what I sell.”
Bulldog Tools has called Clarington Forge home for more than 200 years, but has released 60 per cent of its five-acre premises over the last five years. It still retains two large units at the back of the site.
The new market space is on course to open within the next six weeks.